How Lisa Wilkinson’s Logies speech could delay Brittany Higgin’s rape trial – as the court case is scheduled to go ahead next week
- Bruce Lehrmann accused of raping Brittany Higgins in Parliament House in 2019
- He was due to face a jury trial next Monday – but lawyers are calling for a delay
- His barrister argued Lisa Wilkinson’s Logies speech has publicised the case
- ACT’s Chief Justice has agreed to hear Mr Lehrmann’s application on Tuesday
- Ms Wilkinson gave a speech about her work on the story at the awards on Sunday
Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgin’s rape trial could be delayed as the accused’s lawyers seek to have his court case postponed due to the publicity surrounding Lisa Wilkinson’s Logies speech.
Bruce Lehrmann is accused of sexually assaulting Ms Higgins, his former co-worker, in Parliament House in March 2019.
Mr Lehrmann, who has pleaded not guilty, was due to stand trial in front of a jury at the ACT Supreme Court next Monday, but his defence team has filed a stay application to delay the hearing.
Lisa Wilkinson gave a speech at the Logies Awards on Sunday about her coverage of Brittany Higgin’s story. The pair are pictured together at an event
Bruce Lehrmann (pictured) was due to face a jury trial next Monday, but his legal team have asked for the hearing to be postponed
His lawyers cited the reason as renewed publicity of the case due to Ms Wilkinson’s Logie acceptance speech about her coverage of the story during the awards event on Sunday, ABC News reports.
The ACT’s Chief Justice Lucy McCallum agreed to hear the application on Tuesday.
Mr Lehrmann’s barrister Steve Whybrow argued more than 800,000 people tuned in to watch the awards ceremony, where Ms Wilkinson won the Logie for Most Outstanding News Coverage or Public Affairs Report.
He said his client was not keen for a delay, but reactions on Twitter, Instagram, and in news reports proved the attention surrounding the case in the lead up to the trial.
‘He wants to get it on, but he wants a fair trial,’ he said.
Lisa Wilkinson won the Logie for Most Outstanding News Coverage or Public Affairs Report on Sunday
Under ACT law, those accused of sex crimes must face a jury trial.
Mr Lehrman is facing one charge of sexual intercourse without consent, which has a maximum sentence of 12 years in jail.
The latest court bid is the second time Mr Lehrmann has tried to stay the case, after an attempt in April was denied.
However, the date ended up being pushed back to June 27 anyway due to unforeseen circumstances when Mr Lehrmann needed to seek new legal representation.
Former political staffer Brittany Higgins speaks to the media as she leaves the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices after meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Sydney on April 30, 2021